Hesperian Health Guides

Using media, arts, and events in the community

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HealthWiki > Helping Children Live with HIV > Chapter 15: Community support for children > Using media, arts, and events in the community

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Public media, such as newspapers and magazines, television, radio, and videos, billboards and posters, theater, creative arts, and social media can all help change how people think about HIV, get the word out about your activities, and build community support for children and families with HIV.

Creating a media campaign

  1. To create a message, think about the most important things you want to say. Be creative — how can you get people’s attention and make them think?
  2. Next, decide on the best way to share your message with the community:
    Announcements on the radio? Advertisements in newspapers? Performances in parks or markets? Pamphlets in health clinics? Talks at schools or churches? Posters in schools, community centers, or markets?
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    Do your part to help children stand up to sexual abuse. Make the invisible visible!
  4. Think about your resources. Can someone help you make posters? Will a radio station give you free airtime for announcements? Would someone at the local newspaper write an article about your activities? What methods will work well to share your message?

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Banners and posters in marches and at events are media you control.
A radio campaign changes how men think of caregiving
a group of men talking
What do you think it means to be a man? To be a father?
Being a man means taking care of your family.
My dad says it means controlling your temper.

The MenCare South Africa program at Sonke Gender Justice helps men better participate in raising their children, from the moment they are born.

The campaign profiles active fathers on the radio. Children and other community members nominate fathers by telling their stories, which are recorded for broadcast. Sonke also organizes support groups for fathers to come together to share ideas about parenting and to discuss the challenges of raising children, including those affected by HIV. Fathers then take these messages to schools where they talk with young people about the importance of caring for children and how to be a good father.

Make a resource guide

Especially useful in cities, a community resource guide lists services, programs, and organizations that can help people with various needs or problems. For example, a resource guide for children might include schools, child services, and youth programs in the community, with short descriptions of each one, phone numbers, and how to find them. You can give copies of the finished guide to schools, clinics, or shops, or hand them out at markets, meetings, and events. Maybe a local business will fund the production cost.

an example of a resource.
Kids Club
This program is for children with HIV, 6 years or older. It meets on Saturdays, every 2 weeks, at the Lumumba Clinic. Parents should come as well. Snacks are provided. The program begins at 11 am and ends at 2 pm. Children sing songs, play games, and learn about HIV.
Contact: The Program Manager is George Bukusi, 07 555000123984.
Sample entry

Art projects create and educate the community and support mental health

Traveling theater
In Thailand, health educators go all around the countryside to teach about HIV and AIDS. They perform plays in the street and at markets, schools, and temples. After the play, the viewers talk and the group offers prevention counseling and gives away condoms.
Dance parties, football matches, street fairs — all can be occasions to share information about HIV. A local clinic could provide HIV testing, treatment information, or weigh children. Give away condoms and recruit volunteer home visitors and community gardeners.
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Body maps are outlines of a person’s body, whether an adult or a child. The person fills in the outline with colors or pictures that show how they feel when they are ill, or what makes them strong inside and able to fight HIV, or anything else that shows who they are. Exhibits of body maps can show others how people with HIV are more than their HIV.
A mural can bring community members together to discuss what their community used to be like, the problems it faces, and how they would like it to be. Everyone can help with ideas, how to show them in images, and (the best part) painting together. A completed mural serves as a brightly colored reminder of how people can work together to build a future for the community’s children.
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The outside is what everyone sees. But you can show the inside or not. You can put things inside and not think about them for awhile, like bad memories.
A suitcase project' can help children who have lost their families and moved far from their homes. Children make art on old suitcases to tell their stories, their lives now, their past, their journey from where they lived before, and where they will go in the future. Over many weeks, they paint, print, and draw, and sometimes talk, and then they layer beads, sand, shells or other objects on their drawings, and attach them all on their suitcase.

This page was updated:27 Nov 2019